There is so much I want to say to you today! I couldn’t pick just one thing – not even to wait until next week. It’s all too important.
Starting Therapy: A Book For New Therapy Clients is coming out November 13th! It’s not available for sale yet but I wanted to share the cover with you:
It’s a thin book. Just over 100 pages. It’s perfect for people starting therapy or thinking about starting therapy. It is a collection of mini-essays on what therapy is and how you might think about it.
From the back cover:
What is happening in those awkward silences?
Should you stay in therapy once the crisis that brought you there has passed?
How does talking help, anyway?
What if the answers to these questions took the lid off a well of wisdom that could change all of us?
Starting Therapy guides the new therapy client through the often mysterious world of psychotherapy. Alison suggests questions to ask of yourself and your therapist and proposes ways to get the most out of your therapy. Starting Therapy is a comforting and accessible introduction to self-understanding and transformation through psychotherapy.
It will be available in hard copy, iBooks, and Kindle. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s available for pre-order.
My hope is that this book supports so many people as they begin the potentially life-changing work of psychotherapy.
A Request For Your Support
And next! I am starting a new training. It’s four years long involving five trips to New Mexico every year. It’s a huge commitment of resources and I feel completely led here – it’s right. And I’m scared. In discovering this new modality I am already encountering the many ways in which I am closed. Hurt. I am also opening in ways I honestly didn’t know were possible. It’s going to be a ride. It already is a ride. It’s going to change a lot. It’s already changing a lot. I go for my first module this week.
My intention is to stay with myself to help open myself to the world in a deeper way so that healing flows through me and those I work with and ripples into the world at large.
My intention is to allow this work to be a container from which I can form into the person I was born to be so that my work with you all and beyond is surrendered to the flow of what life has for each of us.
So many of you are so generous with your support and love for me and my work. Could you hold me in your heart this week as I travel and begin the work in this new Institute? It would mean a great deal to me.
Now. Sexual assault. #metoo
As Facebook blew up this weekend with so many strong beautiful women posting statuses of “me too” to highlight the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault I had a difficult encounter in the “real world” that brought home in a visceral way the prevalence and power of sexual assault.
Sexual harassment and assault is a direct transmission to your body. It speaks loud and clear.
“This is what you deserve.
This is who you are.
This is what happens if you take up space in the world.
Your desire, consent, willingness are irrelevant.”
It reawakens past traumas and losses in the body.
It throws us out of a grounded place and into a fearful one where we may construct the whole world as against us.
It breaks the connection between ourself and our life force. Between ourself and our creativity.
Smiles go away.
Lethargy appears. And hopelessness. And disconnection.
We blame ourselves. Why? Because it’s better than experiencing, feeling that we had no control and we were hurt.
The blaming goes deep – we feel we do not deserve what we have and this permeates many areas of life.
We’re more fragmented, forgetful – the pieces of us are further apart.
Disconnected from ourselves we struggle to connect with others and with nature and with the whole system of beings we’re sharing the planet with.
None of this lasts forever necessarily. But without help it does.
Without help, we are lost and alone and supported – without ground.
Without help, we will assault others – perhaps not physically but we will repeat the cruelty to which we have been subjected. If only in our controlling desire to please everyone instead of hurt them.
What do I mean by help? I mean love. Holding. Patience. Container. A place to open.
This can be found in a friend, a therapist, a favourite yoga class, a walk in nature… depending on what we experience and how it impacts us our needs are very different.
But when we are victimized we need help. We need some kind of holding to help us reconnect to ourselves.
And those of us with repeated pain over many years – and I know that is many of you readers – we need a lot of help to reconnect to ourselves.
I am writing this to emphasize the deep personal impact of sexual harassment and assault. Our tendency is to minimize it because it is so normal and because our culture supports the perpetrators. Stay close to your heart – every single one of your feelings is important and meaningful. Every single one.
I am sending you all so much love in those painful parts today and wishing that you get everything you need to feel safe and to thrive.